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Ear Bitten Off as Priests Fight for Parking Space

Father Thomas Byrne, 80, charged with grievous bodily harm
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2012 2:24 PM CST

(Newser) – What a scene to behold: Two retired Catholic priests fought so viciously over a parking spot that one allegedly bit off the other's ear, reports Australia's News Network. Father Thomas Byrne, 80, battled 81-year-old Father Thomas Joseph Smith in their building complex yesterday in Perth, Australia, police say. After the fight, Byrne told Smith to pick something up off the ground; only when he got home did Smith realize it was his ear. So he wrapped it in a towel and rushed to a hospital for surgery.

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When the two showed up in court, Byrne was sporting a black eye and Smith his newly reattached ear. A judge charged Byrne with grievous bodily harm and imposed tough bail restrictions: no going within 30 feet of Father Smith, no threatening him, and no communicating in any way. A neighbor in their complex couldn't believe it: "I was shocked because we're all in our 80s and retired priests," he said. "It's very quiet, although they are always driving in and out of the complex." (Read more Catholic priest stories.)

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